The year is 2012. I turn on the TV to discover an unarmed teen has been shot as he walks from his local convenience store. News and media outlets repeatedly show the horrific images of the senseless murder. I begin to hold my nephew a little tighter.
I think to myself, "I NEED to do something. I am able to digest the news I am hearing and seeing, but what about younger individuals of color? My nephew is growing up in a world that at times, does not cherish and celebrate his life like I do. I need to make him aware of his existence and show him that it is okay to have brown skin."
...an idea was born.
Brown Boy is an illustrated story for children of color that will produce pivotal conversations surrounding social issues affecting the African American community. In simple words and images that all children can understand, Brown Boy highlights a brown child’s depiction in society, past tragedies, and a mother’s concern with establishing a barrier of love and protection. Brown Boy encourages young readers of color to also focus on excelling in literacy. We will accomplish this by partnering with schools and communities to utilize this book as a tool to confront tough conversations and improve cultural awareness.
With the publishing on Brown Boy, I knew it was important to tackle the issues affecting young girls, especially African American girls. I heard many stories from friends who were beginning to have daughters who at a young age were not fully happy with themselves. As an individual who also struggled with self esteem, it was the next best step to ensure that other girls would not have to experience it to that level ever again.
With both stories, our hope is that a seed will be planted that will encourage families and advocated to continue the conversation needed to build a strong generation.